To our members:
I want to thank everyone who was able to make it out to Rocky Gap Casino and Resort for our 51st Annual Fall Conference. We had fantastic weather and it was so great to see so many people in person for the first time since March 2020.
A special thanks to Laurie Beyer, Amanda Rocker, Hollie Miller and the rest of their outstanding team for all the work they did in planning the conference. As you might imagine in these still uncertain times, we were adjusting things up to the very last minute. I also want to thank the attendees for complying with our masking and temperature check rules for our indoor presentations. We had several outstanding speakers in the conference, and I thank them as well for their inspiration and education. Truly though, the highlight for me was our Wednesday dinner on the terrace (outside) where we could safely enjoy each other’s company. It was gratifying to see so many people being able to catch up and renew friendships that had only been held together by Zoom meetings and texts for the last 18 plus months. So go ahead and mark your calendar for next year’s conference. I hope you’ll join our President-Elect, Cheryl Nottingham, next Fall at the Chesapeake Hyatt September 28th though the 30th, 2022.
For those of you that were not able to join us, I wanted to make sure our award winners from our Past President’s banquet were recognized. Last year many of our volunteers went well over and above their normal duties to keep your chapter providing the same level of education and service, so it was tough for your officers to choose this year.
The below award recipients were the ones your officers believe went much more than that extra mile not only last year but in some cases for many years. Founders awards are presented at several different levels (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) and are earned after 25, 50, and 75 founders points are earned for volunteer services in the chapter and/ or regionally and nationally.
This year's winners
Bronze - Lucas Sater and India Suter
Silver – Rachel Schaaf
Gold – Cheryl Nottingham
Unsung Hero Award: India Suter for her work as sponsorship chair. India did an outstanding job with our sponsors (who we never thank enough) and keeping them up to date on our progress in a year that was far from normal.
Rookie of the Year: Amanda Rocker for her work with Laurie Beyer on the Fall Conference which was pivoted to a completely virtual event in 2020 and was certainly touch-and-go as an in-person event in 2021.
President’s Award: Khalida Burton for volunteering her Zoom expertise to us for 2020. Khalida was invaluable in a year where all education was virtual and she continues to aid us in a year where we will be splitting events between in-person and virtual.
The Founders Medal of Honor is a very prestigious award and has very specific guidelines given by our national office. As you might imagine, it is a very short list of people from which to choose. A person must have won the Gold Founders award at least three years ago and still be providing significant service to the chapter. It is only awarded on agreement by all the officers and must be submitted for approval to the national office. For this reason, your officers by precedent usually only submit one per year.
But I am sure we will all agree that last year was anything but normal. We did award two members this prestigious award for 2021. First, Laurie Beyer, for her leadership on two Fall Conferences that were fraught with uncertainty (2021 being worse than 2020, actually) and her continued leadership. The second went to Jeanette Cross, our immediate past president, for outstanding leadership during a pandemic and having anything but a normal president’s year.
Our chapter’s highest award is the Petrik award. The Petrik award recognizes long-term service to the Maryland Chapter. The award is named after the late Gerard F. Petrik, a past Chapter president and long-term Chairman of the Annual Institute Committee. Criteria for the award include being a member of the Maryland Chapter for at least 15 years, receiving the Muncie Gold award and providing significant service to the Chapter during this time.
This year the award went to Michelle Brandt. Michelle was our 2016-2017 chapter President and has won all of the Founders awards inclusive of the aforementioned Founders Medal of Honor. She has served on national committees and continues to lead our wildly successful Women in Leadership programs. We truly thank Michelle for her longstanding commitment to our chapter.
Speaking of our Women in Leadership programs, please mark your calendar for the next program, which will be in the evening of October 21st. Register here.
Thanks to you all for your continuing support of our chapter.
Linker Mills, FHFMA, CRCR, CSBI
2021-2022 Maryland Chapter President